Tag Archives: instrumental piano

Chris Kenji and Linda Lins at NW Folklife, May 28, 5pm

Chris Kenji (Koto Jazz) and Linda Lins (Fola Femme drum group) will debut their keyboard and drumming combinations, incorporating rhythm with ambient, smooth jazz on the keyboard.

The performance will be held Sunday May 28, at 5pm, Seattle Center’s Gate 2 Welcome Stage, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109.



Chris and Linda duo, April 2023

Join us at Songwriters in Seattle Monthly Showcase 7pm, Friday, April 21 @ Soulfood Coffeehouse [Roster FULL], 15748 Redmond Way, downtown Redmond, WA.

1) Soulfood Cafe: https://meetu.ps/e/LtRVB/zt17f/i

2) Sample preview: “Shinrinyoku- alternating forest light”, https://on.soundcloud.com/CBsnpoEfuVwgrHRw8

3) Upcoming NW Folklife: https://nwfolklife.festivalpro.com/form/bmfSboqbKHTbIHLJptVfTHZbyBwvEm/53

Kotojazz @ Frederick Holmes & Company Gallery Pioneer Square, Feb. 02

This classy contemporary art gallery at the center of Seattle’s art community in Occidental park is an ideal location for a reception. This is my fourth time playing here. I will played for about an hour and my good friend Michael shared one of his creative writing pieces in this dynamic creative arts environment.

Get a listen of my songs list from Saturday here: http://kotojazz.com/kotojazz-youtube-videos/. I played the first 8 songs listed on my “Listen/ Watch” page.

Date: Saturday,  February 2nd, 6:30pm-8:00pm.

Location: Frederick Holmes and Company art gallery, 309 Occidental Ave,  South, Seattle, WA 98104.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Flurry of down home story telling @ the DEN in Bothell…

Every song has a story. Remember the end of season snow storm we had (south Seattle) in May 2017? I played this song, Snow Flurry, for the first time on that day.

Below is a full song list for the live piano gig on at Saturday, December 16, 2017 below. The feature song of the night is the following video of “Snow Flurry”:

  1. Tide Pools & Waves
  2. Tori no Yo Ni (Like a Bird)
  3. Mount Index Ice Caves
  4. Snow Flurry
  5. Kojo no Tsuki (Moon Over Ruined Castle)
  6. Snow Blossoms


“Breach” – Live Koto Jazz & the SyntHorn @ The Royal Room; NW FOLKLIFE Next

Here is a live recording of a tune I first played at Stone Way Café’s Fremont Art Walk on April 1st, then recorded live at The Royal Room on April 13th with Koto Jazz accompaniment by Patrick Wilson on the SyntHorn –

🎶  “Breach”, by Chris Kenji & Patrick Wilson.


Koto Jazz on soundclick.com


Join me and Koto Jazz partners next week in Pioneer Square and Northwest Folklife –

April 29th, 7-8:30PM, Saturday, Koto Jazz @ FREDERICK HOLMES AND COMPANY Art Gallery, 309 Occidental Ave., Occidental Mall, Pioneer Square, dowtown Seattle; #206-682-0166.

May 27, 4:30- 5:10 PM, Friday, 2016 NORTHWEST FOLKLIFE;“Koto Jazz – Sounds On the Coast” by Chris Kenji, Center Theater, Seattle Center, Seattle WA. No cover

Koto Jazz 85: Next Wednesday @The Royal Room

Take a mid-week break next Wednesday and relax by stopping by The Royal Room at 7:00-9:30pm, April 13th as Patrick Wilson and I demo our experimental session of Koto Jazz with bossa nova rhythm and beat on the Steinway and Patrick’s invention, the SyntHorn. We’re attempting to further refine it to make it truly stage worthy in preparation for Northwest Folklife opening day. We perform for Northwest Folklife on Friday, May 27 at 4:30pm-5:10pm. The Koto Jazz will be stage worthy with bossa nova fusion. The Royal Room is located in south Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood at 5000 Rainier Ave South, Seattle. See http://theroyalroomseattle.com for quality dining and drinks. This will be part of a donation of $100 I plan to give to the Royal Room and Wayne Horvitz toward piano repairs!!     

Patrick Wilson’s SyntHorn on the koto jazz tune

For the off beat eclectic innovator, the SyntHorn is an amazing, fun and crazy instrument. One of my neighbors and friends Patrick Wilson in Seattle created a digital instrument he calls The SyntHorn (short for synthesizer horn). The horn itself produces an unique, distant echoing cavernous sound effect. The SyntHorn includes the horn, a mini- digital keyboard, Oscillator, Chaoscillator, Monotron delay unit, two Internal Horn speakers, and one external speaker. Since the the features and function completely run on rechargeable batteries, it can played anywhere at any time. A carrying strap fits over the shoulder. All this resides in one unit.

Here is a sampling of Patrick live on the SyntHorn –

3                   2

Join me in my next performances at C&P Coffee, Columbia City’s Royal Room, and Stone Way Café to hear our progressive electronic jazz. Patrick, a former DJ at a local college radio station, will join me in jazzing up my koto jazz tunes and offer up a few of his own originals with my accompaniment on the keyboard.

It makes sounds and rhythms you’ve never heard before.

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Koto Jazz 83: Song Stories- Wandering Rhino Bug

If our local Seattle grunge band The Presidents of the United States of America can get away with writing songs about bugs (Boll Weevil, Lady Bug), I figure I can too.

This is a fun, eclectic koto jazz tune about one of my most memorable life experiences. My brother, Uncle Yasushi and I used to go hunting, not for a rhinosaurus with a gun, but for rhinosaurus beetles with a net in rural Japan. They make for popular pets in Japan, as do so many exotic insects. The less adventurous just go to the local insect pet store, and are able to purchase them. We preferred the tree climbing approach where the “Kabuto mushi” (Rhinosaurus beetle) dwell. Unfortunately, the last of my bug collection was soaked up by the summer flood of 2014 in Boulder, Colorado.

This version was recorded live at Egan’s Jam House in Ballard last weekend, November 21st, and was one of a number of new songs I introduced at the show. Here is the recording: Wandering Rhino Bug

Egan’s Jam House – Another Cool Koto Jazz night in Ballard

I really got into a zone rockin’ the piano. Sometimes it feels like I’m connecting to the true “Seattle Sound”, an almost eclectic, grunge sound on the keyboard. . . if that is possible. Live recordings will be coming soon. The feedback I have from a handful of attendees last night at Egan’s Jam House tells me these were the most well received tunes:

1) The Hummingbird song (no surprise, I rocked it; Hatchidori wa Hana Kara Hana e Tobu);
2) Tide Pools @ Waves (no surprise, this one reached the top 10 out of 80k songs on soundclick.com);
3) Odds & Endings (same as Tide Pools);
4) Ripples on Creek Rocks (surprised, this is the one that aired on KSFK NPR jazz radio, in S. Alaska, and I still don’t know why)
5) Mount Index Ice Caves (surprised, an acquired taste; haunting sounds)
6) Thanksgiving (surprised, this one by Peter Kater)

Worth a listen here @ Chris Kenji Beer on Soundclick.com

Thanks so much y’all for coming. (no more singing, I promise, except by Marie. Lol.)

Michelle, Earl, Rob & Matt hanging out after the show @ Egan's Jam House Ballard
Michelle, Earl, Rob & Matt hanging out after the show @ Egan’s Jam House Ballard

Ed Yakuzawa, photo by Allan Camhi after the show @ Egan's Jam House Ballard
Ed Yakuzawa, photo by Allan Camhi after the show @ Egan’s Jam House Ballard

Chris Kenji on piano
Chris Kenji on piano

Egan's Jam House in Ballard from one of Marie's friends.
Egan’s Jam House in Ballard from one of Marie’s friends.

Egan’s Jam House – The Center of the “Known” Ballard World

looking forward to tomorrow’s performance; a new venue for me where I spent my early years in Seattle – Ballard. “Yah sure yew betchya; dunchya knoooo”. Hope the Ballerdian Skunder- hooovians come out to Egan’s tomorrow night, some of my favorite peeps. That’s for you Earl and Michelle! always wining about me playing in South Seattle; well, here I am! Lol.

Join Me This Saturday, Nov. 21st in Ballard @ Egan’s Jam House

Come join me, Chris Kenji, Saturday, November 21st, 9:00 pm – 10:30pm, at Egan’s Jam House in Ballard, northwest Seattle. I will bring you new songs on the piano, including Odds & Endings, Seascape, and my new Koto Jazz piece, Motto Midare (More Chaos).

I will also sing a few popular classic rock/ folk songs with an eclectic alternative style. In between these vocals, I will play my “Koto Jazz- Sounds from the Coast” tunes. $5.00 cover. For directions and map, visit map here: 1707 NW Market Street (Ballard), Seattle; Call or text: 206-200-2733.

Marie Bolla & Chris Kenji Beer @ The Royal Room

It was a relaxing night of playing at the Royal Room on Tuesday night, and the modest- sized audience was very generous with their contributions. To friends and fans, thanks so much for coming on a weeknight. The donations were solid, so I call it a good night. It means they either really liked your music, or they really, really felt sorry for you. Lol. I say it means you “approve this message”, so thanks. It is also possible we found an introduction to Paul Simon in the audience. 😉

The evening started with a few original works that will be included in my second CD, and a Koto Jazz tune include:
– Falling Leaves
– Seascape
– Haystack Horse Trot
– Protective dissonance

Marie chimed in with vocals for the following ballads:
– Fragile by Sting
– Rivers & Roads
– Make You Feel My Love
– Goodnight Irene

Marie Bolla & Chris Kenji Beer with Marie's friends.
Marie Bolla & Chris Kenji Beer with Marie’s friends.

Marie singing and on keyboard.
Marie singing and on keyboard.

Rob Ingram & Jay Gray at the Royal Room, Columbia City, South Seattle
Rob Ingram & Jay Gray at the Royal Room, Columbia City, South Seattle

Marie Bolla with Victory Music members David John and Ed Yakuzawa @ The Royal Room.
Marie Bolla with Victory Music members David John and Ed Yakuzawa @ The Royal Room.

The Royal Room, November 27 @ 7:30 - 9:30pm, Columbia City, South Seattle.
The Royal Room, November 27 @ 7:30 – 9:30pm, Columbia City, South Seattle.

Marie Bolla and Chris Kenji on Stage @ Royal Room, October 27th

Marie Bolla will sing beautiful classic folk/ contemporary jazz songs with Chris at the keyboards. Marie has played piano and sang nearly her entire life, and has received local awards for her performances. She has played with the popular Seattle area bands. The first half of the show will feature Chris Kenji’s new piano instrumental tunes for his second CD “Sounds from the Coast”, to be followed by Marie Bolla and Chris Kenji in a keyboard duet with Marie singing solo.

Come join us OCTOBER 27th, 7:30-9:30pm (Tuesday),“Sounds from the Coast”, by Chris Kenji and Marie Bolla at the The Royal Room, Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood ; no cover charge. “Koto Jazz- Sounds from the Coast” by Chris Kenji and Marie Bolla. For directions and map, visit map to Royal Room, Seattle. Address: 5000 Rainier Avenue, Seattle, WA 98118; Call or text: 206-200-2733.